Crossfaith – Species (EP Review)

Some thirteen years ago Crossfaith emerged out of Osaka, Japan. A strange, enduring hybrid of Heavy Metal and Electronic music, the band has released five albums, three EPs, and now return with Species

Set for release on Friday, May 22nd via UNFD, their latest work comes in the form of an EP. Five songs in total – Kenta Koie (vocals), Kazuki Takemura (guitar), Hiroki Ikegawa (bass), Tatsuya Amano (drums), and Terufumi Tamano (keyboards) – make it clear with Species they will not be silenced nor will they follow blindly. In fact, there is truthful vulgarity to their anger along with a pure resonance within their pain and melancholy. 

It all begins with the gritty, calamitous “Digital Parasite” where guitars bounce and tear against the smashing beat as Koie shrieks out in rough growls. The pacing is often rapid and shredding, slowing down only enough for unnerving synth to creep through alongside the sluggish guitars. Next, “Endorphin” builds up with twirling blasts of synth, Koie’s altered, disjointed vocals, and Takemura’s ever-evolving guitar riffs. Pausing for a brief melodic interlude, it soon descends into a keyboard fueled whirlwind along with a catchy chorus as Koie begs, “come and save me, tell me how to love.”

The fourth song, “None Of Your Business,” features Rapper Jin Dogg in its savage and bloodthirsty trappings. The vocal style changes over to full aggressive rap, with instrumental elements of Trap intertwined. Which leads to the EP closer, “Your Song,” which plays with more sonorous instrumentation while maintaining an intriguing soundscape. The vocals are emotional and raw, fed by outstanding guitar work, while Tamano’s keyboard/synth truly perfectly accent the track. 

As alluded to, Species plays with elements of  Electronica and Metal, but in hard-hitting, feisty manner. Every track stands strongly by itself as well as behind it’s clear message, using the music as the vessel. The is why Cryptic Rock gives Species 4 out of 5 stars. 

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